Jake Berry, a former Nordic power minister, made the comparison by warning that “Nordic culture” was stricken by the COVID-19[feminine[feminine pandemic.
“For many people who live in London and the south of England, things like opera and ballet will be central to their culture,” he said during a debate at Westminster Hall.
“But for many of us in the North it’s our local football club – our Glyndebourne or Royal Ballet or Royal Opera House or Royal Shakespeare Company will be Blackburn Rovers, Accrington Stanley, Barrow, Carlisle or Sunderland. ”
Mr Berry, who represents Rossendale and Darwen and heads the Conservative MPs’ Northern Research Group, added that action is needed from Westminster to protect the clubs that are the ‘lifeblood’ of their communities.
Treasury Minister Kemi Badenoch did not respond to MP’s appeal in her response, acknowledging that the north of England has been a ‘hotbed’ of energy, ideas and creativity for centuries .
Northern Ballet, which is based in Leeds, expressed disappointment at the MP’s comments and accused him of perpetuating “tropes that culture in the North is less valuable than that of London”.
He added on Twitter: “In the same way that sports clubs are of great importance to many people across the country, including in the south, culture is just as important to a huge percentage of people in the world. North.
“Our hometown of Leeds is the only city outside of London to have its own ballet, opera and theater companies.
“The culture produced in the North is world class, vibrant and innovative, and contributes greatly to both society and the economy.
“We hope that one day this will be recognized by all. ”
This prompted football fan Berry to deny that he was not on target, protesting: “No one is saying that football doesn’t exist in the South or that ballet does not exist in the North.
“And no one is saying that a thriving football league is more important than a thriving arts sector.
“What we are saying is that a lot of our working communities in the North are built around our football clubs, and disproportionately these clubs are now on the verge of financial collapse and supporters will arise. rightly the question why they too did not receive financial assistance through this crisis. ”
And he replied: “Our football clubs in the English Football League, almost all of the social cornerstone of the cities they are named after, are now on the brink of financial collapse. These are structures that have taken decades. to be established and it will take decades to replace them in bankruptcy.
“The government’s position that ‘football should fend for itself’ is also of deep concern when one considers the comparative generosity extended to other industries – for example, the £ 1.5 billion funding program in the United States. only arts sector.
“While the football grounds of Sunderland, Blackburn, Barrow and Preston may seem far removed from Glyndebourne or the Royal Ballet (important as they are), they are nonetheless equally important parts of our country’s heritage and cultural fabric. .
“The football clubs and communities I spoke with don’t care where the aid comes from; be it the government or the Premier League – they just want our support.
“Otherwise, in the weeks to come, these long-standing pillars in our community will be lost for good and the remarkable work they have done in our communities will cease to exist. “